[permaculture] Weeds and hay

Carrie Shepard outlikeelijah at gbronline.com
Thu Sep 15 17:18:59 EDT 2005


 
With raised beds -- or the goal from John Jeavons work of 24 inches of good
soil, it's so easy to pluck out any seeds that DO decided to grow, that I
don't mind using old hay for mulch.  Since I have goats and bunnies, there's
always some stray grain or weed seed popping up somewhere and I just leave
it if I want it or pluck it young out of my way.  

Here in zone 6/7 you can plant austrian field peas as a winter cover crop to
improve the soil, but I'd still say spend all spare time or maximize every
trip out by hauling home some form of humus building ingrediants.   One of
my friends just planted mung beans in her new garden area for the summer and
mowed them when they got to 12 inches, let them re-grow and will cut them
and replant with austrian field peas for winter.  Her garden was clay patch
that I couldn't get a shovel more than an inch down.   For the spring/summer
veggies we hauled in several loads of feed sacks full of goat manure from my
barn.  Her garden is in full wind, so we also made a wind barrier with
T-posts and pallets.  It made this really great 'worship manure' statement
at one point when you could see huge differences between the crops planted
with windbreak and manure and those that got very little manure and no wind
protection.   It wasn't till the permaculture readings clueing me into
watching this sort of thing that I would have realized what a difference the
wind makes in young plants as it dries them out so quickly.

Privet hedge is very hardy and doesn't seem to mind bad soil, 

Carrie





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